69 Years of Silent Kindness
"Do you know the story?" my neighbor asked out of the blue a few days ago when we were wandering through his and the other back yard gardens one morning. "Oh, hi! Uhh, no. No, I don't."
"Were ya heah a few weeks ago when it was just a field of blue?"
"Yes. I have pictures, in fact. It's beautiful..." and I thought back to these photos from a few weeks ago.
"Back during World War II, Dottie's (his wife's) brother brought back these Forget Me Not seeds from Germany. Her parents brought them up from New Jersey when we bought the house. We planted them around the tree in the front, and they spread. They somehow spread to our back yard. And theirs, and yours, and so on through the --well, through the whole neighborhood!"
Just because of one little seed packet.
It reminds me of the story of Miss Rumphius, whose legacy is the perennial lupines popping up now all over Maine.
Though her acts were intentional.
Does Dottie's brother know the joy he's brought my children for these few precious weeks the Forget-Me-Nots are in bloom? Would he ever have envisioned the fields of blue connecting our yards together in a continuous carpet, drawing us together, blurring the lines of property and responsibility?
Simple acts of thoughtfulness can resonate, multiply, and go on for generations. You really never know the impact a single act of kindness can have.
So often we can trace the implications and consequences of situations gone wrong. But the traces of kindness are nearly impossible to nail down. Maybe its agility is what makes kindness such a more powerful force than malign - it cannot be held onto and harbored as a grudge. Only enjoyed and passed on.
And on. And on and on.
Maybe all you have to do for today to be kind is follow and listen. Maybe just to yourself. Maybe to a baby...
Come sit by me, Mama.
"Wet's play. Wedding supper?" [From Elizabeth Mitchell's "Froggy Went A Courtin'" - What will the wedding supper be? Buttercups and dew drop tea...]
Eat it, Mama - like this!
I wuv you.